JumpStart Inc.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses have a variety of funding options available, but figuring out which capital source to pursue—and at what stage of development financing is needed—isn’t always clear.

In this “Capturing Capital” panel discussion, sponsored by Charter One and moderated by JumpStart’s Jerry Frantz, listen to panelists Eric Diamond of ECDI, Deborah Perkins of The Presidents' Council, Chris Sklarin of Edison Ventures and Lee Zapis of Zapis Capital Group talk about the different types of funding, what companies should focus on and ways to best position your startup for investment success.

Direct download: CapturingCapital-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EDT

With reports showing that high-tech startups contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of the economy and are a key driver of job creation, regions around the world are interested in becoming innovation hotspots. The reality is that most markets are not venture capital meccas like Silicon Valley. Still, there are creative ways to spur and support entrepreneurial activity and civic and corporate leaders, nonprofit foundations and economic development organizations are experimenting with novel approaches to launch and accelerate the successes of high growth companies in their communities.

A Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, is being created by Professor Michael Goldberg at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University that will, among other things, examine one such public, private and philanthropic intervention—the decade-long effort to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Greater Cleveland.

In this panel discussion moderated by JumpStart's Samantha Fryberger, Professor Goldberg, Innovation Fund America Director Lisa Delp and FSVC Egypt Director Nevine Dakroury talk about the change taking place in Northeast Ohio and why work being done in the Buckeye State could be of interest to transitioning economies across the United States and around the world.

Direct download: MOOC-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:11pm EDT

At any given time, JumpStart Inc.'s job board lists 60 to 80 job openings at early stage companies in Greater Cleveland. Clearly, the region's young companies are creating opportunities. But how do cash- and time-strapped entrepreneurial firms identify, recruit and retain the tech talent they need in today’s globally competitive environment? And how do they find skilled workers that are a cultural fit for the fast-paced, constantly changing startup world?

In this roundtable moderated by Samantha Fryberger, Rushabh Sheth of Decision Desk, Kara Hornikel of JumpStart Inc. and Teri Hembree of OnShift discuss what it takes to work at a young, growing company, and talk about creative ways entrepreneurs are recruiting top talent.

Direct download: Jobs-At-Startups-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17pm EDT

Through Venture for America, a highly competitive program launched in 2010, some of the nation’s best and the brightest grads have the chance to experience entrepreneurship while making an impact on a young company’s growth.

Cleveland was added to the list of Venture for America cities this year. There are eight fellows in town for the next two years, and several JumpStart client companies have added this enthusiastic young talent to their ranks. “Our goal is to continue to funnel smart, talented builders to startups and high growth companies across the country and in communities like Cleveland, where they can contribute and add value to the growth of the business and help create jobs,” says Venture for America’s COO, Eileen Lee.

Listen to Lee, Paragon Robotics’ CEO Julian Lamb and Cleveland Fellow Mehves Tangun discuss the merits of the program.

Direct download: VentureForAmerica-Final2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Social media is one of the most important promotional tools a business can use. However, figuring out what platform to use—and what to share with customers—can be challenging. This fireside chat between Insivia CEO and owner Andy Halko and Renter’s BOOM Founder and CEO Lindsay Sims is an overview of how and why growing companies can benefit from using social media.

Direct download: SocialMedia-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

As any entrepreneur knows, despite best-laid plans, nobody is successful 100 percent of the time. Thankfully, most people recognize that mistakes alone can’t define them or deliver a fatal blow—rather, they are an opportunity for growth.

In this discussion, part of a series of local meet-ups called Small Talks presented by Turnstone in cities across the U.S., panelists Chris Seper of MedCity Media, Sue Borison and Stephanie Silverman of Your Teen Media, and José Vasquéz of Quez Media Marketing tell their stories about how they overcame challenges to achieve greater successes and positive outcomes.

Direct download: Turnstone_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

Entrepreneurship education in higher education is exploding with 5,000 colleges and universities offering entrepreneurship courses in 2013, compared to 250 in 1985. That’s according to the Kauffman Foundation, who also reports that more than 500 universities have instituted majors, minors or certificates in entrepreneurship.

In this roundtable discussion, JumpStart's Samantha Fryberger sits down with Deborah Hoover, President & CEO, Burton D. Morgan Foundation; Peter Abramo, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, College of Wooster; Julie Messing, Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Initiatives, Kent State University; and MBA student/entrepreneur JeShaune Jackson to explore the excitement around and benefits of entrepreneurship education.

Direct download: HigherEd_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

Human Resources is the backbone of any organization, responsible for structuring and enforcing the hiring process, employee benefits and company culture. Startups and small businesses have unique needs as they grow and add employees—from figuring out the hiring process and determining benefits to creating an engaging workplace and attracting the right talent.

This panel discussion moderated by The Nielsen Group owner Lee Nielsen covers designing a benefits plan and compensation package, as well as navigating the onboarding process. Other topics discussed include how to be intentional about culture creation, and how to align the performance management process to support this intended culture. Panelists include Thermalin Diabetes CEO Rick Berenson and Executive Recruiter Fran Rubin, ECHOGEN Power Systems Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Julie Maurer, and Diane McNally Consulting’s Diane McNally.

Direct download: HR_Panel_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

On Wednesday, August 7, JumpStart hosted a half-day Human Resources event that covered topics important to small business—from the hiring process and determining benefits, to creating an engaging workplace. One topic of particular interest to many companies is providing healthcare coverage for their employees. As part of the event, JumpStart welcomed Trish Decensi, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Medical Mutual of Ohio, to discuss new policies and laws related to the affordable care act and how they affect small business.

Direct download: HR-MedMutual-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03pm EDT

TechStars, 500 Startups, Y Combinator…these well-known accelerators work with promising young companies for a limited time, exchanging mentoring and pre-seed funding for equity. With nearly 200 accelerators already in existence and new ones sprouting up all the time, how does an entrepreneur know if a startup launch program is right for him or her? We sat down with Charles Stack and Jennifer Neundorfer from FlashStarts and Dar Caldwell from LaunchHouse—both Northeast Ohio-based accelerators—to talk about the benefits these programs can provide and how to pick one that’s the best fit for your business.

Direct download: Accelerator-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:09pm EDT